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  • 2 December 2013
  • • 18:00
  • • Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune, Mahārāṣṭra

Mumbai FC 3-2 East Bengal: Evergreen Yakubu relegates Colaco to his first defeat

Mumbai FC 3-2 East Bengal: Evergreen Yakubu relegates Colaco to his first defeat

Mumbai FC

Yusif Yakubu who had been drafted in by Khalid Jamil proved to be the inspiration against a mediocre East Bengal display who were outclassed...

Ten-man Mumbai FC shocked East Bengal 3-2 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune in an I-League match played on Monday evening. Veteran Yusif Yakubu opened the scoring for the hosts in the second minute which was cancelled out by Cavin Lobo (32'). However two more goals from Ahmad Hatifie (37') and NP Pradeep (65') killed the game and Ryuji Sueoka's late goal in the 87th minute wasn't enough for the Red and Gold to salvage a point.

Khalid Jamil gave veteran Yusif Yakubu, who had just been roped in, a start while Ahmad Hatifie and Haroon Amiri were the other foreign recruits in the starting eleven. 

Meanwhile Armando Colaco was still without the services of midfield general, Mehtab Hossain. With James Moga still missing, Edeh Chidi started upfront with Sueoka operating just behind.

It was disastrous start for the away side in almost no time as Yakubu was given too much space in the box. A speculative long ball from defense was swept home by the forward who chased it like a man on a mission, brushing aside Arnab Mondal and slotting it into the bottom right corner past a diving Abhijit Mondal.
East Bengal then attacked down the left as Larindika Ralte and Saumik Dey tried their best to test the defensive nous of Mumbai's backline as they sent in cross after cross form the left but Mumbai held firm.

In the 16th minute, a sumptuous Yakubu cross from the right was met acrobatically by Mohammed Rafi but the finish was just wide.
Ten minutes later, a Yakubu shot was initially parried away by Mondal but it landed at NP Pradeep's feet inside the box, who shot straight at the fallen keeper with the ball coming back then to Uga Okpara whose wayward clearance was just about gathered.

East Bengal then drew themselves level in the 32nd minute as Cavin Lobo drove through the static Mumbai midfield and left the defenders for dead, before smashing the ball into the bottom right corner. 
However jubilation lasted barely five minutes as Yakubu turned provider, setting up Hatifie for a shot from 25 yards out. The Afghan made no mistake as his shot hit the inside of the post before creeping past the line leaving Mondal well beaten.

The second half began like the first with East Bengal's midfield failing to string two passes together with Naoba Singh on the right being especially guilty of heavy touches. Barely two minutes in, Yakubu chested a great ball onto the path of the onrushing Pradeep who unfortunately failed to control his shot from the edge of the box.  

With the Red and Gold brigade failing to build up any attack at all they were hit with the classic sucker punch in the 65th minute when the dynamic Nicholas Rodrigues sent in a beautiful curling ball from the right which was headed in by Pradeep who beat Okpara in the air. 

With ten minutes to go, East Bengal were handed a life line when Hatifie was booked for the second time for an elbow on Sueoka leading to Mumbai being down to ten men. In between Chidi Edeh had smashed a shot into orbit from outside the box while Sueoka had failed to play in the final ball after getting into promising situations.

The Japanese however got a goal back in the 87th minute scoring a header from close range after East Bengal had pushed men forward and were literally battering the Mumbai defense. However in spite of their relentless search for the equaliser with three minutes added on, Jamil's side held strong and came out with all three points after a gritty display. 

Sandjar Ahmadi who had come on late as a substitute had to be however taken to the hospital as he had  breathing problems. 

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